Fleet Size Model for Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit Systems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - right of way, infrastructure - traffic signals, land use - planning, ridership - demand, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - bus rapid transit


Transportation corridors, Traffic signal timing, Traffic signal settings, Traffic corridors, Systems approach, Systems analysis, System planning, System analysis, Settings (Traffic signals), Right of way (Traffic), Mathematical models, Light rail transit, Fleet size, Demand, Cost estimating, Corridors (Transportation), Bus rapid transit


A fleet-size model was developed as a useful and simplified tool with which to estimate the number of vehicles needed in maximum service for light rail transit (LRT) and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in the early stages of corridor planning or system analysis. In evaluating transit systems, cost estimation is a major factor. However, cost estimation will be insufficient if an adequate fleet size is not considered in the calculation. Thus, establishing a fleet-size model for LRT and BRT is the first step in the process of cost estimation. The developed model considers transit demand, right-of-way configurations, number of stations, headway, type and size of vehicle, and traffic signal timing at the intersection. The model is verified by selecting several existing systems. An example illustrates how the model can be applied in real-world situations.